Central engine of Supernova explosion. I

Core collapse supernovae are stellar explosion of massive stars whose mass is bigger than 8 solar masses. The mechanism of supernovae is, however, not clarified yet by 50 years of theory and observation. To solve the problem, 3-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations with neutrino transport is essential. K-comupter first enabled us to perform the simulation with fine numerical grid and the central engine of supernova was reproduced.

The core of a massive star at red giant stage is made of onion-like layers of different nuclear elements. The supernova starts at the innermost iron core.
The iron core shrinks by the strong gravitational force that is generated by itself. The gravitational collapse does not stop until the core bounce resulted from the birth of proto-neutron star.
The shock waves generated by the core bounce affected by neutrino cooling and heating process. Blue and Yellow color depict the region where the cooling and heating process is dominant, respectively.
The propagation of the shock is initially suppressed by the accreting matter, The violent convective motion, however, promote the neutrino heating. After that the heated shock wave goes outwards.
We see that convective motion from the center of the star. This motion is first discovered by this 3D simulations with K-computer.
In summarize, after the gravitational collapse of iron core, the shock wave generated by the core bounce goes outer ward, with the neutrino heating promoted by the violent convection, and finally blow off stellar envelope. That is supernova explosion.
Super Kamiokande at Gifu prefecture, observes neutrinos produced at these supernova explosions.
Reference: K-Computer: http://www.aics.riken.jp/

320x180, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_320x180.wmv ( 31 MB) user policy

320x180, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_320x180.mp4 ( 94 MB) user policy

400x300, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_400x300_wmv.zip ( zip : 53 MB)

400x300, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_400x300_mp4.zip ( zip : 172 MB)

640x360, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_640x360_wmv.zip ( zip : 84 MB)

640x360, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_640x360_mp4.zip ( zip : 176 MB)

1024x768, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_1024x768_wmv.zip ( zip : 180 MB)

1024x768, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_1024x768_mp4.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

1024x768, Windows Media Video format (with japanese caption)

SNExplosion01_1024x768_caption_wmv.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

1024x768, Quick Time format (with japanese caption)

SNExplosion01_1024x768_mp4.zip ( zip : 184 MB)

1280x720, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_1280x720_mp4.zip ( zip : 179 MB)

1280x720, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_1280x720_mp4.zip ( zip : 180 MB)

1920x1080, Windows Media Video format

SNExplosion01_1920x1080_wmv.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

1920x1080, Quick Time format

SNExplosion01_1920x1080_mp4.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

1920x1080, Windows Media Video format (with japanese caption)

SNExplosion01_1920x1080_caption_wmv.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

1920x1080, Quick Time format (with japanese caption)

SNExplosion01_1920x1080_caption_mp4.zip ( zip : 181 MB)

Detail of numerical simulation

purposeThe mechanism of supernovae
nutrino transfer, 3-dimensional hydrodynamics
Used number of grid
320x64x128、20 energy level for nutrino
time scale0.5 second
space scale5000 kilometers
ResearcherTomoya Takiwaki(NAOJ) Kei Kotake(NAOJ) Yudai Suwa(Kyoto-univ)
Reference Title: Three-dimensional Hydrodynamic Core-collapse Supernova Simulations for an 11 M_s Star with Spectral Neutrino Transport
Takiwaki, Tomoya; Kotake, Kei; Suwa, Yudai
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 749, Issue 2, article id. 98 (2012).

Detail of visualization

This movies can be supplied with plane screen version(1024x768 pixel) and domemaster version(4096x4096 pixel).


  • Simulation: Tomoya Takiwaki, Kei Kotake and Yudai Suwa
  • Visualization: Four-Dimensional Digital Universe Project, NAOJ
  • Four-Dimensional Digital Universe Project, NAOJ

Release date

  • 2013.03 version 1.0